Friday 8 March 2019
Historic England won January’s Campaign of the Month with London History Day, a campaign that promotes London’s rich heritage and encourages Londoners to get to know it better.
London History Day was designed to help to raise Londoners awareness of the many historical places on their doorsteps, as well as help bridge the gap between heritage and cultural sector. Established in 2017, London History Day returned on 31 May 2018 with the aim of being bigger and better.
The campaign was targeted towards young families and those aged 35-60, living or working in zones 2 and 3, who have a moderate interest in heritage.
Historic England does not operate any heritage properties, so partnering with culture and heritage institutions across London who could offer a range of special activities to the public was key. This was achieved by demonstrating to partners, from Hackney Council to the National Portrait Gallery, that through supporting the day they could gain access to millions of engaged Londoners, as well as secure the support of the Mayor of London.
Historic England secured the participation of over 80 museum and galleries, more than double the number in 2017 (39), who committed to offering 160+ activities. We supplied partners with merchandise and a media kit, and proactively promoted their activities across our social media channels and directly to traditional media.
To warm up audiences a new London History Day film was launched in April. In two months it was viewed more than 100,000 times. In early May, we unveiled partner activity on our website, including suggested trails segmenting and targeting by specific interests and age.
As well using targeted advertising and partnering with key online influencers, promotional leaflets and posters were distributed in targeted venues across London to appeal to families and culturally active Londoners. Historic England partnered with TfL who distributed 70,000 leaflets across the underground. Historic England also notified organisations like Heritage Lottery Fund, Art Fund and Arts Council England, so that they could promote the activity of their partners.
On the day, Historic England used social media channels to promote partner activities. The results revealed that 10.8 million users were reached through social media, while a total of 14.6 million were reached from 1 April to 31 May.
#LondonHistoryDay trended for most of the day in London. The London History Day Google map was also viewed 10,157 times – more than double the number last year. 70% of partners reported that the day helped them to attract more visitors – of who were new or mostly new – and 75% said that they would participate in London History Day again.
This low-cost campaign made a significant impact in helping Historic England to build new partnerships, and crucially, to communicate and engage with millions of Londoners. YouGov research found that the number of Londoners who were aware of Historic England increased from 33% to 43% between January and July.